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Compromised biotech scientists pressure Greenpeace to abandon anti-GMO campaign, insisting genetically engineered crops are GOOD for the environment


Greenpeace

(NaturalNews) Dozens of Nobel laureates have sent a letter to environmental activist group Greenpeace, pressing the organization to stop its opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMO), claiming that the altered crops and foods are actually good for humans and the environment.

As reported by the Washington Post, more than 100 of the Nobel winners want Greenpeace to end its battle against those who want to introduce a GM strain of rice that supporters claim would lower deficiencies in vitamin A that cause blindness and even death in children growing up in the Third World.

"We urge Greenpeace and its supporters to re-examine the experience of farmers and consumers worldwide with crops and foods improved through biotechnology, recognize the findings of authoritative scientific bodies and regulatory agencies, and abandon their campaign against 'GMOs' in general and Golden Rice in particular," the letter says.

The campaign involving the letter and other efforts was organized by Sir Richard Roberts, the chief scientific officer of New England Biolabs, as well as Phillip Sharp, the winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for discovering genetic sequencing called introns.

No such thing as 'golden rice'

In conjunction with the letter, a website, SupportPrecisionAgriculture.org, has been set up, which includes a growing list of signatories. The group also held a recent news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

"We're scientists. We understand the logic of science. It's easy to see what Greenpeace is doing is damaging and is anti-science," Roberts told The Washington Post. "Greenpeace initially, and then some of their allies, deliberately went out of their way to scare people. It was a way for them to raise money for their cause."

In particular, the Nobel laureates are upset that Greenpeace is attempting to block Golden Rice, which supporters claim would eliminate vitamin A deficiency (VAD) affecting mostly people who are poor and who live in Africa and Southeast Asia.

Roberts claimed to back other activities that Greenpeace undertakes, and said that he is hopeful that the letter leads the group to "admit that this is an issue that they got wrong and focus on the stuff that they do well."

What Roberts didn't say was that his company develops biological products for the agricultural industry. Conflict of interest much?

Greenpeace, like rational scientists, disagrees not only with the premise of the letter, but with the arguments the laureates are attempting to make. In a response to Roberts, the organization says that accusations that it is blocking GMO golden rice are not true. The organization went on to note that the rice is not a legitimate solution and isn't even available for sale at the moment, though it is has been under development for two decades. Greenpeace also noted that the International Rice Research Institute has said that Golden Rice hasn't even been proven to actually improve vitamin A deficiency.

"So to be clear, we are talking about something that doesn't even exist," Greenpeace said in response to the letter.

Greenpeace offers better solutions – real food

The group added further:

"Corporations are overhyping 'Golden' Rice to pave the way for global approval of other more profitable genetically engineered crops. This costly experiment has failed to produce results for the last 20 years and diverted attention from methods that already work. Rather than invest in this overpriced public relations exercise, we need to address malnutrition through a more diverse diet, equitable access to food and eco-agriculture."

Greenpeace offered better solutions than dangerous GMOs in a strain that doesn't yet exist anyway. The only real solution that guarantees to reverse malnutrition is a "diverse healthy diet." That means people must be provided with "real food" that is based on pesticide-free, organic agriculture, that feeds them adequately and does not add to the threat of climate change.

The organization says it has documented communities in the Philippines that are expressing concern about using GMO rice as a better solution to natural food. "It is irresponsible to impose GE golden rice as a quick remedy to people on the front lines and who do not welcome it, particularly when there are safe and effective options already available."

The reality is, Greenpeace is exactly right. The best defense against dangerous GMO crops is clean, fresh, organic food that you can grow yourself.

Sources:

WashingtonPost.com

SupportPrecisionAgriculture.org

SupplySource.com

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